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Thursday, 12 October 2006
Page: 201

Mr McClelland asked the Minister for Defence, in writing, on 8 August 2006:

Is the Australian Defence Force currently prescribing or has it prescribed, the anti-malarial drug Mefloquine Hydrochloride (Lariam) to personnel deployed overseas; if so, when was it prescribed and to how many personnel; if not, which anti-malarial drugs are currently being prescribed, and which have been prescribed since 1990.

Dr Nelson (Minister for Defence) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Doxycycline is the principal anti-malarial prophylaxis prescribed by the Australian Defence Force to Defence personnel deployed overseas. Mefloquine Hydrochloride (Larium) is only prescribed where doxycycline is not tolerated well by an individual. Mefloquine is also not approved for use by Australian Defence Force aircrew.

Mefloquine was introduced into the Defence pharmaceutical inventory on 13 September 1990. The information sought in the honourable member’s question on how many personnel were prescribed Mefloquine is not readily available. To collect and assemble such information solely for the purpose of answering the question would be a major task, and I am not prepared to authorise the expenditure and effort that would be required.